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Alzheimer's at ​Reliant Family Psychiatry in Mansfield & Grand Prairie, TX.

Alzheimer’s disease causes a decline in memory, thinking, learning and organizing skills over time. It’s the most common cause of dementia and usually affects people over the age of 65. There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, but certain medications and therapies can help manage symptoms temporarily.

​Alzheimer's at ​Reliant Family Psychiatry in Mansfield & Grand Prairie, TX.

Understanding Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease, a type of progressive brain disorder, involves the degeneration and death of brain cells, leading to a decrease in brain size. It's the most common cause of dementia, marked by a decline in memory, thinking, and social abilities, severely affecting a person's capability to function independently. In the U.S., approximately 6.5 million people aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's, with a significant number being over the age of 75. On a global scale, Alzheimer's represents 60%-70% of the estimated 55 million dementia cases. Initial signs of the disease often start with simple forgetfulness, but they can progress to severe memory loss and an inability to carry out everyday activities. Although there's no cure for Alzheimer's, available treatments can help manage or slow down the progression of symptoms. In its advanced stages, complications like dehydration can become life-threatening.

​Stages of Alzheimer's Disease

Stages of Alzheimer's Disease

The progression of Alzheimer's varies among individuals but generally follows a pattern of worsening symptoms over time. The stages include:

  • Preclinical Alzheimer's: No symptoms but changes in the brain.

  • Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI): Minor decline in mental abilities.

  • Mild Dementia: Noticeable memory issues and difficulty in complex tasks.

  • Moderate Dementia: Increased memory loss and confusion, requiring more care.

  • Severe Dementia: Extensive care needed due to significant memory loss and lack of awareness.

Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

Changes in Memory

As Alzheimer’s advances, it increasingly affects the ability to function both at work and at home. Common issues include:

  • Repeating statements and questions.

  • Forgetting conversations, appointments, or events.

  • Misplacing belongings in illogical places.

  • Becoming disoriented in familiar settings.

  • Forgetting names of family members and everyday objects.

  • Struggling to find the right words, articulate thoughts, or engage in conversations.

Personality and Behavioral Changes

The brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s can alter mood and behavior. These changes can manifest as:

  • Depression.

  • A loss of interest in activities.

  • Withdrawing socially.

  • Experiencing mood swings.

  • Developing distrust in others.

  • Displaying anger or aggression.

  • Altered sleeping patterns.

  • Wandering.

  • Loss of social inhibitions.

  • Experiencing delusions, like believing items have been stolen.

Thinking and reasoning

Alzheimer’s makes it hard to concentrate and think, particularly about abstract ideas like numbers. Multitasking becomes particularly challenging. Managing finances, balancing checkbooks, and timely bill payments grow increasingly difficult. Over time, there can be a marked decline in the ability to recognize and understand numbers.

Judgment and Decision Making

There's a notable drop in the ability to make sound decisions and judgments in daily life. For instance, a person might dress inappropriately for the weather or make unsuitable social choices. Responding to routine problems also becomes harder, such as not knowing what to do if food is burning or making poor decisions while driving.

The most noticeable symptom of Alzheimer's disease is memory loss, starting with difficulty in recalling recent events or conversations. As the disease progresses, memory issues worsen and additional symptoms appear.

  • Age
    As the most significant risk factor, age plays a crucial role in Alzheimer's development. While not a normal part of aging, the likelihood of Alzheimer's increases with age, particularly after 65.

     

    Family History and Genetics
    Genetics, especially the APOE e4 gene, can elevate Alzheimer's risk. Having a first-degree relative with Alzheimer's also raises the likelihood, although specific genetic mechanisms remain complex.
     

  • Down Syndrome
    Individuals with Down syndrome have a higher incidence of Alzheimer's, possibly due to the extra chromosome 21, which is linked to beta-amyloid production.
     

  • Gender
    More women are affected by Alzheimer's, likely due to their longer life expectancy.
     

  • Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
    MCI, characterized by memory or cognitive decline beyond what's expected for one's age, significantly increases the risk of progressing to Alzheimer's.
     

  • Head Trauma
    Traumatic brain injuries, especially in older adults, are associated with a heightened risk of Alzheimer's.
     

  • Environmental Factors
    Exposure to air pollution, particularly traffic exhaust and wood smoke, may increase dementia risk.
     

  • Lifestyle and Cardiovascular Health
    Lifestyle factors like lack of exercise, obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes are linked to an elevated risk of Alzheimer's. Healthy lifestyle changes can potentially reduce this risk.

Alzheimer's Disease: Risk Factors

Psychiatry Practices

For managing Alzheimer's, it's often advisable to combine medication with psychiatric evaluations. Our team ensures a personalized treatment strategy aligning with your unique symptoms and requirements. Continuous monitoring of your progress and symptoms is an integral part of this treatment, allowing us to fine-tune medication doses and frequency for optimal results.

​Psychiatry Practices
Therapies

Also known as Psychotherapy (Talk Therapy), talk therapy is an effective option for a number of different symptoms and conditions, including Alzheimer's. Talk therapy can take many different forms, so you and your therapist can work to find the best option for your specific situation, condition, and symptoms. Talk therapy can be used in combination with medication and other forms of treatment, if needed.

​Therapies

Treatments for Alzheimer's

​Discover a brighter mental well-being journey at Reliant Family Psychiatry in Texas!

We're here to guide you every step of the way. Choose Reliant Family Psychiatry today

Discover a brighter mental well-being journey at Reliant Family Psychiatry in Texas!

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